About us

Human Rights as the Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development

KIOS Foundation strengthens the realization of human rights by supporting the human rights work of civil society in developing countries. Support is mainly channeled to 6 focus countries in East Africa and South Asia.

Human rights are the foundation for sustainable peace and development, for reducing inequality and for preventing conflicts and humane suffering.

We understand human rights as defined in human rights treaties and instruments of the United Nations and the Council of Europe. We work for a world, where dignity and human rights are being recognized for all human beings, and states committed to ensure them.

Direct Support for Human Rights Work in Developing Countries

KIOS is a unique actor in Finland, channeling direct support to human rights projects planned and implemented by civil society organizations in developing countries.

In the supported projects, human rights are strengthened by human rights education, awareness raising, campaigning, monitoring and documentation of the human rights situation, advocacy work and legal aid, among other activities.

In addition to project funding, KIOS supports the organizations by strengthening their capacity, networks and security.

Focus on East Africa and South Asia

KIOS directs its support to six focus countries in East Africa and South Asia. Work is supported in East Africa in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. In South Asia support is channeled to Nepal, Sri Lanka and to Tibetan civil society organizations in exile.

Some long-term partner organizations of KIOS are also supported in Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia and Pakistan.

Read more from the Funding section.

KIOS in Finland

In Finland, KIOS raises awareness on the significance of human rights and the work of human rights defenders in developing countries. In addition, KIOS advocates for the development of good practices to Finnish foreign and development policy to support human rights defenders.

Founded by Finnish NGOs

KIOS is founded by 11 Finnish human rights and development NGOs. The work of the foundation brings together Finnish experts of the field. The representatives of the founding NGOs appoint the Board of KIOS.


The Founding NGOs of KIOS: Fingo, Finn Church Aid, Amnesty International Finnish Section, The Finnish League for Human Rights, The Finnish Refugee Council, Finnish Peace Committee, Committee of 100 in Finland, Finnish Committee for UNICEF, The UN Association of Finland, Disability Partnership Finland, Finland National Committee for UN Women.

KIOS receives financial support for its activities from the development cooperation funds of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.